10 Most Common Allergy Triggers
Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year and spend more than $18 billion on treatment.
You suffer from an allergy when your immune system reacts to a substance that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people.
Many things can trigger an allergic reaction, which can range from mild and annoying to sudden and life-threatening.
Here are the 10 most common allergy triggers.
Exposure to pollen, a fine powder produced by trees, grasses and weeds, can trigger an allergic reaction in the body. In fact, pollen is one of the most common causes of allergies in the U.S.
The tiny particles are released from trees, weeds and grasses to fertilize parts of other plants. But as the pollen hitch rides on currents of air, sometimes they enter your nasal passage or throat, triggering a type of seasonal allergic reaction.
2. Animal Dander
Many families around the world have pets. In the U.S. alone, the American Pet Products Association estimates that 65 percent of households have a pet.
Owning a pet has many benefits, but it can be a common allergy trigger for you or your family members.
The proteins present in a pet’s dander (skin flakes), saliva and urine can cause an allergic reaction.
Mold is a class of fungus that grows in damp places. It can grow almost anywhere that is warm, damp and humid environments like basements or bathrooms as well as in grass or mulch.
Ventilate damp areas to reduce the moisture level. For example, use an exhaust fan in the bathroom while showering.
4. House Dust Mites
House dust mites are microscopic organisms that live in house dust. They feed on the dead skin cells that people shed regularly. Dust mites can survive in all climates and at most altitudes.
To prevent allergic reactions to dust mites:
Use allergen-proof bed covers on the mattress, box spring and pillows to prevent the allergens from getting into the beds.
Wash all your beddings (sheets, pillowcases, blankets and bed covers) in hot water at least once a week.
The creepy and crawling cockroaches that many people cannot even bear the sight of are another common trigger of allergic reactions.
These creepy insects are notoriously hardy and difficult to get rid of. However, you can prevent an infestation by: Not leaving human or pet food sitting out for them to feed on.
Covering trashcans, washing your dishes and cleaning up food crumbs promptly. Sealing cracks in your walls and floors. Fixing or cleaning up sources of excess moisture.
Reducing humidity in your home, as it promotes the growth of cockroaches and other pests.
Using roach traps or gels to get rid of cockroaches.
6. Food: You suffer from a food allergy if your immune system reacts abnormally to something you eat or drink. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education organization, some 15 million Americans have food allergies.
To prevent allergic reactions, avoid problematic foods even in small amounts. Also, when purchasing food at a supermarket or ordering food in a restaurant, check the ingredients thoroughly.
7. Insect Stings: Being stung by a bee or wasp is very painful, but the problem becomes severe if you’re allergic to the insect’s venom. Insect-related allergic reactions typically involve yellow jackets, honeybees, paper wasps, hornets and fire ants.
swelling of the face, throat or mouth; a rapid pulse; dizziness; or a sharp drop in blood pressure requiring urgent medical attention.
To prevent a reaction to an insect sting, take measures to avoid getting bitten or stung by the insects. You can also consult your doctor about allergy shots (immunotherapy).
8. Latex: Latex in gloves, condoms and certain medical devices can trigger an allergic reaction.
You can suffer an allergic reaction simply by touching products containing latex, such as gloves, condoms and balloons. Also, inhaling latex particles, especially from gloves, can cause a reaction.
medical or surgical procedures by informing your health care providers about your latex allergy before any test or treatment.
9. Fragrance: Fragrances in products like perfumes, scented candles, laundry detergent and cosmetics can trigger a reaction in some people. Hence, they are not allergens, but irritants that can cause allergy-like symptoms.
10. Medication: Some people may even develop an allergic reaction to a medication. This happens when your immune system, which fights infection and disease, reacts to the drug.
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